Redbird or Fredbird?
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the Cardinals/Pirates game with 2 of my 3 children, my dad, brother, and nephew. Prior to the game, my 7-year-old son, attending his third Cardinals game at Busch Stadium, looked around the stadium from our seats and said, “Where is Redbird? When is he coming out?” My response: “Don’t you mean FREDbird?” He moved on to another conversation. Several minutes later, he said it again. “Where is Redbird? I don’t see him.” My response: “His name is Frederick, so we should call him FREDbird.” After all, little details like Fredbird’s proper name are essential knowledge for all Cardinals fans.
When my brother contacted me saying he had secured tickets to his company’s private suite, I was elated. I have been to Busch III at least 10 times and didn’t realize such an option existed. So we stayed in an air conditioned suite with access to a covered balcony along with two or three other small parties and enjoyed the game with a stocked fridge and an open food bar. While we sat apart from fans, we were in the middle of the stadium and immersed in the fandom that is Cardinals Nation. I have started a tradition in my family that when my children turn 5, they are invited on an annual trip to St. Louis to go to a Cardinals game. And this suite is how my daughter and 7-year-old nephew from Knoxville, TN, spent their first Cardinals game.
After a 30-minute rain delay, the game started. The children danced and cheered as fireworks went off, because there’s always a reason to celebrate at Busch Stadium. They seemed confused as fans sat in silence waiting for a ruling about Piscotty’s called double, then cheered and danced as the umps changed the call to a home run—which brought more fireworks. My privilege as a dad is to enjoy the game while keeping myself disengaged enough from it that I can focus on teaching my children to love the game themselves. As batters came to the plate, I was sure to draw the connection with the posters and baseball cards around my son’s room. We talked about the 11 World Series flags in Right Center Field, who was in which dugout, and what a dugout and bullpen are. And we cheered as Fredbird finally danced around the first base line with his flag, reveling in yet another win.
As we left the stadium—we talked about all the statues we passed and why these players are immortalized outside as we took pictures with “Bob Gibson” and “Ozzie Smith”. Baseball (and life in general) are meant to be shared and enjoyed together.
|Friday, July 8||7:10 PM||@ Milwaukee Brewers||Michael Wacha|
|Saturday, July 9||1:10 PM||@ Milwaukee Brewers||Carlos Martinez|
|Sunday, July 10||1:10 PM||@ Milwaukee Brewers||Mike Leake|
|Tuesday, July 12||7:15 PM||ALL STAR GAME|
Game times and pitchers are subject to change. Go to stlcardinals.com for the most up-to-date schedule and information.
NL Central Standings
|St. Louis Cardinals||44||41||.518||8.0|
105.3 WJLT ESPN Evansville only airs games via radio broadcast. Online listening can be found at mlb.com.